By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau
Two “gifted goals” late in the game scored by FC Robo of Lagos captain, Gift Monday, saved the day for Nigeria as the Super Falcons laboured to a 2-0 win over the Female Eagles of Mali in the opening match of the Aisha Buhari Cup tournament holding at Mobolaji Johnson Arena Onikan.
The encounter was destined to end on a barren draw before Monday’s 80th minute looping header beat a badly positioned Mali goalkeeper for Nigeria’s first goal just as she also outpaced tired Mali defenders at the dead of time to poke in Nigeria’s second goal in the 90+1 minute.
In fact, the scoreline should flatter the Super Falcons who were pegged back for 80 minutes by Les Aiglonnes before the fellow West Africans caved in at last.
Prompt News had in earlier reports, warned that the Malians gave as much as they received especially the two attackers, Sebe Coulibaly of RC Saint-Denis and Aissata Traoré of Guingamp, France.
The first half of the encounter had ended without a goal by the two teams, a situation which forced Super Falcons Head Coach Randy Waldrum to make three changes on resumption which later paid off.
Perhaps, the introduction of home-based Monday who plays in the domestic women’s league was the icing on the cake as she combined well with another substitute, Sweden-based Uchenna Kanu to deliver Nigeria from the shackles of Mali on the day.
Nigeria will savour this hard-earned victory over tough-fighting Mali until the last day of the competition when the Banyana Banyana of South Africa led by former player, Desire Ellis will file out against the Super Falcons at same stadium.
South Africa had once in the Group B African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) Ghana 2018 defeated Nigeria by a lone goal byThembi Kgatlana at Cape Coast Stadium, Ghana.
Nigeria later beat them in the final via penalty shootout to lift the trophy.